TransLink announced Monday it will be giving out 15,000 free TransLink-branded masks at major public transit hubs over the coming weeks.
It is part of its new “Wearing Is Caring” campaign urging passengers to use face masks and coverings on the public transit system.
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There will be street teams positioned at “random locations” across the network distributing these masks.
“We want masks to become a regular part of our transit system,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a statement.
“As part of our Safe Operating Action Plan we are recommending customers wear a face covering or mask while on transit or waiting for transit, if they are able to do so. If we can get to a point where most people on transit are wearing a face covering or mask, then it will be a safer experience for everyone.”
These masks will be made available for purchase through TransLink’s online store later this summer.
As well, the campaign will feature the systemwide installation of posters and decals to encourage the use of face masks and coverings. And taking a page from the seasonal “Reindeer Bus,” TransLink has installed a face mask onto the front of one of its buses.
Although ridership is still significantly down below normal levels, the pace in ridership growth has picked up in recent weeks.
Under BC’s restart, with the promised financial assistance of the provincial government, TransLink has returned most of its service to normal levels to allow for better physical distancing from the increase in ridership. Bus capacity has been increased to 66%, allowing for all seats in the vehicle to be filled.
It has also implemented enhanced cleansing and disinfecting practices, including daily routines and pit crews at high-traffic stations, and installed wayfinding and floor decals to inform riders of proper physical distancing. Passengers are also being recommended to wear a face mask or covering.